The Odessa Record -

By Roger Harnack
Free Press Publishing 

Test and trace isn't 'voluntary'


Last updated 5/18/2020 at 5:49pm

Voluntary must have a different meaning inside state government offices.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee and other partici- pants in his coronavirus press conference said par- ticipation in a statewide contact tracing program would be voluntary.

Under the program, anyone who tests positive for coronavirus would be contacted by the Washington National Guard, state Department of Licensing employees or other so-called “health professionals” to determine an infected person’s whereabouts and ascertain their personal interactions.

Those who test positive would also be quarantined in their homes, along with their families. The contact tracing “army,” as Gov. Inslee called it, would then contact the individual daily to make sure they are home.

To keep someone from going out in public, that army will bring groceries, provide on-telephone counseling and generally manage the life of the infected individual, as well as the lives of their family members and anyone they’ve been in con- tact with.

From there, the governor’s coronavirus brigade will hunt down those individuals who came in contact with an infected person. Those individuals — infected or not — will also be quarantined, along with the other members of their households.

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like voluntary participation to me.

And that’s just the beginning.

During the press conference, Gov. Inslee confirmed he is also requiring restaurants and taverns keep tabs on you for a change, if you want table service once they are allowed to reopen.

That’s right, if you want to dine at your favorite restaurant, you’re going to have to give up your name and contact information before you can be seated. You may even have to provide proof of your name and contact information, just to make sure you don’t try to slip in and out incognito.

And should someone who visits the eatery test positive for coronavirus, you will receive a call from the governor’s new army and be ordered to quarantine in your home.

No grocery stores, no family visits, just locked up at home with contact tracers checking up on you daily.

The governor boasts that his new army already has 351 Washington National Guardsmen, 390 state Department of Licensing workers and 630 state and local health care workers charged to trace your interactions.

Toss in the fact that they’re already working with technology com- panies to monitor smart phone mobility, voluntary can be erased from government dictionaries. If you take steps to avoid voluntarily participation, the governor says: “They are going to have to comply, eventually.” That doesn’t sound voluntary.


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